Pilots of plane that skidded off runway said brakes were on, but plane didn't slow down

Associated Press

The pilots of a plane that skidded off a runway at LaGuardia Airport last week in a snowstorm have told investigators that automatic systems designed to slow down the plane weren't working properly.

The pilots said the plane's automatic brakes were set to "max," but they did not sense any deceleration as the aircraft veered toward Flushing Bay. They also reported to the National Transportation Safety Board that the runway appeared "all white" when they broke out of the overcast sky just moments before landing.

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The plane's automatic spoilers — flaps on top of the wings that reduce lift and slow the plane down — didn't deploy, but the first officer deployed them manually.

Investigators say the plane's left wing destroyed about 940 feet of the airport's perimeter fence.